Would the following be considered deceit and/or sinful?

Apologies if there’s a basic answer to all of this, but all of a sudden I’ve become extremely worried.

Suppose if I

-was sinlessly listening to music/talking to friends on my computer but changed tabs when someone comes by, solely due to privacy reasons or because others may not understand

-was crying and either simply wiped my tears or lyingly said “no”, as I would feel others wouldn’t understand why I was crying

-stayed up later than my parents tell me to for innocent reasons such as talking to friends

Writing it out makes me feel like I’m being way too obsessive, but I’m genuinely worried that, since in a sense the “truth” is being “concealed”, I may be committing a sin. I understand that I could just explain what I’m doing, but in cases like staying up, my parents wouldn’t understand that I can genuinely handle it.

Note: I’m not an apologist and frankly I’m still trying to figure things out too.

  1. I think that’s alright. I’m fairly sure it avoids scandal.

  2. I’m not sure.

  3. If you’re a minor, you are supposed to do what your parents tell you so long as their command isn’t sinful, which this one isn’t so I think this does come under as a sin. Not sure on the degree.

Though it is perfectly alright to have a disagreement so perhaps you might be able to talk to your parents to see if they’d consent to you staying up later so that it’d be with their permission or you might come to see their side better.

1 There’s nothing wrong with keeping your personal likes and dislikes (for example, music) a secret. For example, I like Guns-n-Roses circa 1989, but I won’t tell anyone.

2 It was probably evident that you were crying. Saying “no” is a universally understood way of politely saying, “I don’t want to talk about it so leave me alone.”

3 There are a lot worse things you could be doing to disobey your parents. As a parent, this is one where I’d say, “I told you to go to sleep!” because it’s in the Parent Rules that I have to say something, but I wouldn’t really mean it. :wink:

So in this case, it essentially negates its possible sinfulness as its a matter of emotional privacy?

If I were to discuss this properly with my parents, and they give me a legitimately unreasonable response such as “Because I said so”, would it be acceptable to keep doing so reasonably?

For 1., I’m not an expert, so …I don’t know what the justification would be, but keeping your feelings to yourself can’t possibly be sinful.

For 2., parents have to pick their battles. I think both sides have to decide if it’s worth fighting over it. But I’m not going to tell you it’s ok to disobey your parents. Your opinion of what’s unreasonable might be wrong.

Definitely not.

Definitely not.

This last one is a bit more nuanced and situational, but may not even be sinful (though it could be venial, depending). Your parents want to ensure you’re well-rested and fit for school and such. Maybe they want a little them-time, too. You can probably rest easy about putting your immortal soul in danger, though. :wink: This doesn’t strike me as grave matter.

If you find yourself continually worrying about such things, to the point where you’re always anxious and second-guessing yourself, you may be dealing with what is called scrupulosity, and may wish to speak to a priest. I’m not diagnosing you, though. I don’t know your history. That said, a priest is trained to give surer and sounder guidance on these types of questions than anonymous people on the Internet. It’s part of their job description to do this type of thing. Remember that most of us are a bunch of amateurs.

I think you’re up in your head a little too much. Maybe bordering on scrupulosity.

Deception isn’t always sinful, anyway. To take a well known example, suppose I’m living in occupied France during WWII. The SS comes to my door and asks if I know where any Jews are hiding. Now, as a matter of fact, I do happen to know where some Jews are hiding. In that situation, not only am I morally allowed to deceive them, I’m morally obliged to deceive them. Telling the truth in that situation would be an immoral act.

To take a less extreme example, say someone asks me if I like their new coat. Personally, I think the coat is hideous. But I tell them it looks nice, because there’s no point in hurting their feelings. I don’t think that “white lie” is sinful. I think you saying “no” to the crying thing is like that. It’s just a “white lie”, the purpose of which is really to extricate yourself from a potentially awkward situation.

As far as lying to your parents so you can stay up later chatting with friends…eh. Not the best thing to do, but I personally don’t think you need to make a beeline for the confessional.

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